I came to this forum searching out a book I read in the late 80s when I was a student. It was about about a gunslinger who comes across an alien that I think was killing farmers and townsfolk.

It was a bit psychedelic, as the alien was just a black spot (a 'dimensional being' we'd probably call it now), but it was very well-written. The gunslinger, I think, had to persuade the sheriff and other characters that the thing was real without sounding foolish, and that they had to find a way of killing it, but it was within the mindset and POV of the gunslinger, without using modern sci-fi language. It was a well worn paperback that had been passed through many hands, and I have for years wondered what it was. A cult classic, I was told. It wasn't long, a novella perhaps, but I read it in one hit (apparently everyone did). Reminded me a bit of another cult novel, Prince Ombra. Any clues?

  • Any chance you're thinking of Steve Perry's "Stellar Ranger"? It's the first sf gunslinger story I can think of.
    – Sindi
    Nov 28, 2013 at 20:32
  • Sounds like the Cowboys and Aliens movie that came out a few years back. Might look up the movie and see if it references a story as a basis.
    – Wayne
    Mar 18, 2015 at 21:56
  • Feels a bit like one of H. Beam Piper's Paratime novels.
    – WillAdams
    Jun 16, 2015 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


Any chance it is the first of the Dark Tower novels by Stephen King? The first story in the novel 'The Gunslinger' was published in 1978. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Tower:_The_Gunslinger

"The story centers upon Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, who has been chasing after his adversary, "the man in black", for many years. The novel follows Roland's trek through a vast desert and beyond in search of the man in black."

  • The Dark Tower doesn't have aliens, nor a sheriff. Please read the questions more carefully next time. Jun 16, 2015 at 13:15
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    It was a stab in the dark on a question from 3 years a go. Chill. Jun 16, 2015 at 14:08
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    Lots of things point to the gunslinger. It was a cult classic, the first one was quite short. It has a gunslinger. I think this is a very good answer, and may even be the correct one. The man in black was definitely mysterious and shows Roland other worlds, and one might misremember him as being alien. There were some authority figures that Roland encounters which might also be misremembered as a sheriff.
    – Trenin
    Jun 16, 2015 at 17:20
  • Definitely not The Gunslinger. In that book , Roland (the gunslinger of the title) is pursuing 'the man in black' who is a wizard of sorts, but not an alien on a killing spree. Not sheriff either and probably too long to read in a single sitting.
    – Steve Ives
    Feb 6, 2017 at 20:54

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